If you stop by the OCCC for a visit, you will no longer see Edgar Bravo. Now you can find him at the Santa Ana Goodwill Computer Works store refurbishing donated computers.
When Bravo began at the OCCC in October of 2010, he had already earned his high school diploma, but had difficulty finding a job due to lack of experience and other barriers. He quickly became a Crew Leader and got certified in chainsaw operation and First Aid/CPR.
In December, he began job training at Goodwill through the OCCC worksite program. Because of his interest in and talent for working with computers, Goodwill placed him in the Computer Works department. He also started an informal internship shadowing and assisting the OCCC IT Manager, Paul St. Onge, once a week.
Goodwill was so impressed with his work that they hired him in April. He is attending Southern California Institute of Technology to get a certificate in Computer Science Information Technology. He would like to become an Information Technician, which means he would manage a large company’s networks. But for now, if you stop by Goodwill, be sure to congratulate Edgar on his achievements.
*April 2013 Update* Edgar is now a manager at Goodwill in their Computer Works department. Congratulations Edgar!
Corpsmember, Nicole Edwards was living in a rundown motel with her sister and mother; no real direction in life and was unsure of who she was and what she wanted. Before Edwards started working at OCCC she expected life to just hand her everything while she did nothing. Edwards became tired of not getting anywhere and so decided to obtain her diploma and joined the OCCC with her sister. “I don’t know where I would be right now if it were not for this program, “ said Edwards, “there were many times that I wanted to give up, but did not. I am very excited to move on and use the skills I have obtained during my time at the corps.” Edwards has since graduated from high school, received her driver’s license, obtained a scholarship from AmeriCorps, and will be moving on to another job.
Corpsmember Cashmere Carter dropped out of high school, and attributes her new success as a college student in the criminal justice program to that of OCCC, and to the friend who referred her. “I never thought I was going to walk across a stage in front of loved ones to give a speech, but I did,” Carter said. “I have to say, being at the Orange County Conservation Corps has really helped me out a lot. I think of it as not just completing the program, but better preparing me for life itself.”